Cavaliers, CYMS, Orange City, Centennials and Bathurst City are all in the box seat of their Bathurst-Orange Inter-District Cricket season-openers, taking advantage of flat decks and quick outfields to catapult themselves to ascendancy with the bat.
Although the competition was devoid of arguably its best players with the Central West Wranglers on Cricket NSW Plan B Regional Bash duty and unable to front for their clubs, the opening day of the reinvigorated tournament delivered.
ST PAT'S OLD BOYS (3-42) trail CAVALIERS (201) by 159 runs
Cavaliers have the upper hand against reigning Bathurst champions St Pat's Old Boys, the maroons punched out 201 before snaring three early wickets as the Saints finished day one 3-42 in reply.
Youngster Cam Laird shone for Cavaliers, falling just nine short of his maiden top grade ton. With 91, he combined well with stand-in skipper Bailey Ferguson (42) to lift the side after an ordinary start, they came together at 2-12.
Mark Maybin also added a vital, unbeaten 32 at the end of the maroons' dig, with Matt Fearnley (3-56) and Ben Cant (3-29) the best of the Saints' bowlers at Scots All Saints.
Gus Cumming (2-4) made his presence felt in his first game for Cavaliers, the former Kinross skipper removed both David and Phil Cant in a nervy period at the end of the day while Wes Lummis picked up Andrew Brown's scalp.
Bailey Brien (16 not out) and Josh Wilcox (two not out) will resume the Saints' chase next week.
ORANGE CITY (4-351) lead CENTRALS by 351 runs
With a hard-hitting 132 Dave Boundy led Orange City to a formidable position at stumps against Centrals, the veteran all-rounder posting his highest career score on a highway at Wade Park.
He combined beautifully with Lachie Coyte (67), Shaun Grenfell (49) and young recruit Ben Schofield (42 not out) as the Warriors pummelled the trying Centrals attack to all corners.
Zac Reimer (1-35), Cam Rasmussen (1-60), Daryl Kennewell (1-53) and Matt Ripps (1-74) all took wickets but none could truly make any inroads on the batter-friendly wicket.
It remains to be seen if Orange City will declare before the start of play on day two, or bat on.
CENTENNIALS BULLS (7-258) lead CITY COLTS by 258 runs
Half centuries from Kyle Aubin (69) and Nathan Foran (53) pushed Centennials to a strong position overnight at Bathurst's Morse Park 1, with the Bulls having the option to bat on next weekend.
Aubin and Foran added 82 for the third wicket after Blake Aubin (29) made a start at the top too, while Joel Gurney (36) chipped in with a start of his own as well.
Ryan Gurney (five) and Mick Hutchinson (12) fell cheaply in the middle order as City Colts wrestled back some momentum, mainly through David Giorgio (2-37) and Pat Hill (2-60).
If Centennials bat on, they'll do so with Kurt Toole (16 not out) and Josh Toole (two not out) unbeaten at the crease.
CYMS (2-145) trail KINROSS (191) by 46 runs
Tom Belmonte has the chance to notch his maiden first grade ton and lead CYMS to a comfortable first innings win at Riawena Oval, after working his way to 76 not out at stumps.
Belmonte and Dave Neil (50) put on 107 for the second wicket after Matt Baker (7) fell cheaply, lifting the green and golds within reaching distance of Kinross' 191.
That came after Luke D'Elboux (4-37), Hugh Le Lievre (3-29) and Chris Novak (2-55) took multiple scalps, never allowing Kinross to settle on the low Riawena deck, although they still posted a competitive total.
Harry May (59) and Will Luelf (42) both made inroads though, starting their season well.
BATHURST CITY REDBACKS (1-135) trail RUGBY UNION (167) by 32 runs
Joey Coughlan did the damage on day one, Redbacks' skipper is 86 not out and has led his side to a dominant position in their chase, he'll look to go on, pass triple figures and lead his side to a first innings win.
Imran Qureshi (42), Niraj Dhakal (44) and Jono Colley (33) all made starts for Rugby Union but couldn't go on with them, with the Bulldogs resigned to the fact they'll need to mount a monumental fightback on day two.
All five games resume at 1.30pm next Saturday afternoon.
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